Silver Penny of William I
1066 is a key date in English history. It was the last time that England was successfully invaded by a foreign power, and marks the end of the Saxon kings and the beginning of the Norman dynasty. Duke William II of Normandy landed with troops on the south coast of England and made his way to Senlac Hill where he defeated the Saxon army of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings on October 14th 1066.
The Norman invasion and the social and political upheaval that followed it brought huge changes to England. Vast areas of the country transferred in ownership from Saxon the Norman landowners, who were rewarded for their part in the invasion force.
The landscape changed as distinctive motte-and-bailey castles sprang up to allow them to control their new estates and important buildings such as churches were built in the fashionable Norman style. The language of England also developed as Norman French words entered the vocabulary.
There are very few surviving Norman objects from Leicestershire, this silver penny with its portrait of England's new king is a rare discovery.
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Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013